What is Life? || Acharya Prashant with Students (2013)

life

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Questioner: What is life?

Acharya Prashant: Devansh is asking, ‘What life is?’

How many of you have come to this question at some time in some way or the other?

So, that means that question is not merely Devansh’s question, his question belongs to all of us, at least most of us. Let us go into it.

So, it’s not Devansh’s life anymore, it’s our life, we are talking about our life. As you are sitting over here, you are looking at me, I am speaking to you, and Devansh is asking a question. What do you call it as? What is this?

Listeners: Event?

AP: An event? An event in what?

L: In life.

AP: If this is an event in life, what do you mean by the completeness of life? When you say it is just an event in life, then you probably mean it is a part of life.  If this is just a part of life, then what is the completeness of life?

L: Sum of such moments.

AP: As you are talking to me, are there any other events going on? But then we said that this is our life we are talking of.  Right now, as you are sitting here, is there anything else that is happening?

L: In our mind.

AP: If it is happening in the mind, really happening in the mind, then can you be present what is happening here?

Alright, let us imagine one of you is busy thinking about something that is happening in the world. Let us say, some event that is happening in New York. He is occupied with that event, right now. Now, could he be listening to what I am saying? Is it possible to listen to this when your mind is there? So, that means, there are no parallel worlds. You are either here, or your mind is somewhere else.

Those of you are here right now, are they thinking of some other place, some other time? As they are listening, are they thinking of some other place, some other time? So, you see, there is a clear distinction. We are either here, or somewhere else, right?  Now, where is really something going on? As you are sitting over here, where is the real activity happening? And remember, we are talking of your life. As far as you are concerned, where is reality?

We are talking of our life. Life of each one of us present over here. As far as we are concerned where is our reality? Where are we?

Here.

When are we?

Now.

Right?

But, this appears so simplistic, the mind is not going to accept it.  The mind says that there is something more to it. How can a complex things called life, which appears so dreadful, so frightful, how can it be reduced to a simple matter, ‘Here and Now’? No glamour in it! No fizz in it!

Yes, life is a little more, but, tell me, if you are not present over here, if you are not enjoying this, what else is there to be enjoyed? At any moment, remember, you are always living in the present moment, correct? Each of us is living really in present moment only. Everything else is just memory, an imagination. If we are not enjoying this, what else is there to be enjoyed?

Yes, we all want to make life large. We all want to have a great life. But, when and where is that greatness, that bigness possible? Is it possible at any other moment except the one in which you are living? No? We all want a great life, don’t we? We want life to be big and bountiful, don’t we? But that bigness, that richness, when can that come to us?

Whenever it would come to us, it would come to us in the present moment.

Are you getting it?

And if you are here, can that richness come to you in the adjoining room?

L: No, Acharya Ji.

AP: So, whatsoever the life can give you, it can give you only where you are. How can life deliver you something where you are not? So, essentially this moment contains the whole of life. Life is nothing but Now. Remember that this Now is not one entity. Now is like a stream. But, wherever you are, you are in the Now. Whenever you are, you are in the Now, wherever you are, you are here, correct? And, that’s where life is. There is nothing at all more to life. It is just a simple thing, a small secret, but it eludes us. And, if we can learn the secret, then nothing else remains.

Do you know, what are the implications, if you learn the secret?

You all are very young, not more than 18 or 20 years of age.

Do you know what the implications are?

The implication would be that we would be really young when we realize that this moment is all that I have right now. I will not lose that moment. Then, there will be real youth, real energy, because I will give all that I have to life and life is here. Then, there would be no frustration, no boredom and no absent-mindedness.

Are you getting it?

Do you know why we are absent-minded and often bored and frustrated?

That happens to all of us, right?

Often we feel bored and the mind is wandering. We feel bored because we assume life to be somewhere else. We create a virtual reality. You may be sitting here, but there is a virtual reality in the mind and the mind is somewhere else, right? You are assuming that life can be somewhere else, hence you are absent from this moment and hence the boredom. Hence the boredom, frustration and irritation, because now you are here, and mind is somewhere else. There is bound to be friction. This here and now is a great secret, of attention, of energy, of joy.  A young man, a young woman must know this. And, then there is a transformation. Then, you find, ‘Wow! Things are not the same anymore. Moments are not the same anymore. Life is no more complex’

It’s all so simple. All complexity was here (head), the moment it is realized, it’s also simple. Get into it. Be immersed in it. And, that’s it. Nothing more. This is life. This is life.

After all, who can breathe in the future, can you breathe in the future? Try breathing 5 minutes from this moment?

It’s all so simple and obvious. But it eludes us. Know this, then, things will be very straight forward, very joyful. Alright.


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch Full Discourse: What is Life? || Acharya Prashant with Students (2013)

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